Home > My Life Musings > The taxman cometh

The taxman cometh

On arriving home from work the other evening I saw a dreaded brown envelope on the mat.  Upon closer inspection all I needed to see was the return address – “HM Revenue and Customs” – to send butterflies swooping through my stomach.

I’ll just briefly explain the tax system in the UK. We use PAYE (Pay As You Earn) – HMRC takes tax from your pay every month and the rest (minus National Insurance) goes into your bank account. We trust HMRC to take the correct amount – we have to. You need to be a genius to be ale to work it out for yourself. If you get paid more one month (bonus, overtime and so on) the tax is recalculated for the next month (you might pay more), but it all evens out in the end.

A letter could easily mean that they haven’t taken enough money and they want more!

I settled myself on the sofa and opened the letter. The first page was very generic – “you may owe us money, or we may have taken too much and we owe you”. Pages went flying in all directions as I tried to find the final reckoning. I should mention that this is for the tax year 2005-2006, back in the distant mists of time.

Joy of  joys – apparently they didn’t take into account an increase in my personal allowance (the amount you can earn before you pay any tax) and I paid too much (i.e. they took too much)!

Rich, I’m rich! They’re sending me a cheque! What should I buy?

I’ve always wanted a little Audi. That would be nice. Or I could move to a bigger place. One with a spare room to put all my junk in. Or maybe a cool 3D TV with a massive screen.

Audi, big house, 3D TV – all denied

Well, they owe me a grand total of £34.50. So I won’t be getting any of those things. But it’s nice that the government thought of me and are sending me some money.

I can’t help thinking that it would be nice if HMRC always took a little too much and then gave it back – it would be like a little savings scheme. But then I suppose we’d come to expect it and then the one year we didn’t get it we’d find we’d already spent it in anticipation.

Maybe next year I’ll owe them money instead. Perhaps I’ll just take my £34.50 and store it away against that eventuality.

No, screw it. Amazon.co.uk here I come!

  1. goldfish
    May 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Anything in the plus column is a bonus. FREE MONEY!I’d buy myself several pints of nice cold lager and give the finger in the general direction of HMRC as a celebration.


    • May 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Actually I went a bit mad on Amazon 1-click! Yay! Blu-ray. Lovely.


      • goldfish
        May 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        A completely reasonable alternative to beer and the middle finger.


      • May 23, 2012 at 6:20 am

        I admit that my 1-click finger did rise triumphantly in the direction of the nearest HMRC office between clicks.


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